UCB towards 18th birthday with success story

THE Uchumi Commercial Bank (UCB) Limited will celebrate its 18th birthday in September this year.

UCB was established in 2005 by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania Northern Diocese (ELCT-ND) to operate as a regional unit bank that provides all commercial banking services in Northern Tanzania.

Revealing this was the Vice Chairperson of the Board of Directors of UCB, Ms Agnatha Rutazaa when having a tell it all interview with the ‘Daily News’ held at the headquarters of the bank, located just a stone throw from the Moshi Central Bus Station along Market Street here in Moshi recently.

On who initiated the idea of starting UCB she said the same was initiated by ELCT-ND adding that this idea was reinforced during the 83rd meeting of the Executive Council of ELCT-ND held at the then Lutheran Uhuru Hostel now Uhuru Hotel & Conference Centre situated here in Moshi on 12th March 2002.

Giving a historical background of UCB, she said the bank started operations on 22nd September 2005 with an initial capital of Tshs 372 million the same by then being slightly above 250m/- allowed by Bank of Tanzania (BoT) to start a community bank.

“UCB is owned by ELCT-ND, private people and other institutions regardless of their affiliated ideologies. Within the past eighteen years (2005-2023) this bank has recorded a very good success measured by various financial institution’s parameters” she said.

Outlining these successes, she named them to be an increase in customer’s deposits from TSHS 3million recorded on 22nd September 2005 to the same of 37bn/- in June 2023.

According to her UCB which started with 36 customers in 2005 now has a total of 35,434 customers recorded in June 2023 adding that the period covering the years 2006-2023 witnessed UCB issuing loans worth a total of 36.45bn/-.

“UCB which started with an initial capital of 372m/- currently has a capital of 10.3bn/- recorded as of June 2023.

Bank’s assets have increased from 3bn/- in 2005 to the same of 50bn/- recorded in June 2023,” she said.

On his side when talking about his bank the Chief Executive Officer of UCB Mr Samwel Wado took time to outline the performance of his bank in the first six months of 2023 when compared to the same recorded in 2022.

Mr Wado said UCB generated an income of 4.02bn/- in the first six months of 2023 when compared to the same of 3.3bn/- which is an increase rated at 19 per cent.

He further said the first six months of 2023 witnessed his bank realising a profit before tax of 1.047bn/- that is equivalent to an increase rated at 88.3 per cent when compared to 0.555bn/- recorded in 2022.

“In this same period of six months UCB assets increased by 9.44 per cent rising from 45.981bn/- in 2022 to 50.32bn/- in 2023 while customer’s deposits have increased by 11.60 per cent rising from 33.176bn/- in 2022 to the same of 37.026bn/- in 2023. Loans issued in 2022 totalled 31.763bn/- when compared to 35.752bn/- issued in 2023, these figures being for each year’s first six months” said the UCB Chief.

On position of operations, he said his bank operates through its headquarters in Moshi, a mini branch at Karatu, Arusha Region, one service centre at Sanya Juu in Siha District and of late UCB has opened up a branch at Himo in Moshi District.

Talking on the importance of the inaugurated Himo branch of UCB which became operational on 15Th August this year he said the same was a result of a survey carried out by staffs of respective bank who realised the importance of extending services carried out by UCB to people and customers in areas like Marangu, Kalama, Mamba, Mwika, Rombo, Tarakea, Holili, Njia Panda and Uchira who earlier had to travel long distance while also wasting time and taking risks to Moshi town so as to be served by the headquarters branch of UCB.

Coming to corporate social responsibilities he said UCB sees the importance of ploughing back to the community and to this he said his bank has donated a total of 75 Desk Top Computers all worth a total of 7.5m/- to Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies (SACCOS), Agricultural and Marketing Cooperative Societies (AMCOS), Women and Youths Groups based in Kilimanjaro Region and Karatu District in Arusha Region in the period covering the years 2018-2023.

“It is the policy of our bank to care for the family economy which starts at the grass roots level of any nation, aiming at the economic capacity building of the individual.

“UCB understands very well that caring for an individual to make him/her access financial services at minimum interests means caring for the family and as a result caring for the national economic growth.

This being the case UCB has in the years 2018-2023 donated Desk Top Computers to SACCOS, AMCOS, Women and Youths groups which deals with individuals the same now being used to keep records of savings and credits of the said members,” he said

Not only this he said adding that apart from donating Computers his bank has assisted the said groups/societies by giving them book-keeping knowledge, building strong rooms, motorcycles not forgetting how to prepare business plans the same done in cooperation with a Swedish non-governmental organisation known as ‘We-Effect’.

On future development of the bank, he said UCB’s strategy is to increase value added services whereby by the end of this year 2023 the bank intends to continue to leverage its influence and participation on the UMOJA Switch Network to enable customers access financial products through respective networks across the country.

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